Hillman Talks Energy

On Monday I criticized The Denver Post for its baseless assertion that “New Energy” is driving Colorado’s economy. Mark Hillman also has pointed out the economic damage of energy controls:

As if paying $4-plus for gasoline isn’t bad enough, some of Colorado’s political leaders seem bound and determined to spread pain at the pump to the cost of heating our homes this winter — and for decades to come… Democrats try to freeze traditional energy sources to make alternative energy economically competitive.

Hillman criticizes Senator Ken Salazar for standing in the way of oil-shale production. Unfortunately, Hillman does not specify how Salazar is doing this. Salazar praises a “research and development program that Congress created in 2005”; if that means subsidies, then such federal assistance is wrong. Salazar also fears “the Bureau of Land Management is trying to organize a fire sale of commercial oil shale leases on public land.” Of course the central problem here is that the federal government has nationalized vast tracks of land. Short of the ideal policy of privatizing all of this land, the federal policy should be to lease land (though any lease set would be arbitrary for this socialized land) to whomever can independently finance operations. Salazar believes, “The governors of Wyoming and Colorado, communities and editorial boards across the West agree that the administration’s headlong rush is a terrible idea.” But what they think should make absolutely no difference. They are not the ones putting up the investment money or doing any of the work.

Hillman also blasts Congressman Mark Udall, who is currently trying to join the Senate, for scapegoating “price-gouging,” conflating reasonable tax credits with subsidies, and mandating different ethanol.

Finally, Hillman notes, “Udall and Salazar team up with Gov. Bill Ritter to stonewall against responsible energy development on the Roan Plateau. Meanwhile, Ritter still expects the energy industry to provide more tax revenue.”

The Democrats impose controls and taxes on economical energy and mandates and subsidies for uneconomical energy. Then The Denver Post pretends that such policies are the “biggest” reason for Colorado’s relative economic success, rather than an impediment to economic growth.